2013 Louis Eden Valley Semillon

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Cockle Pasta with Tarragon
Pale straw with lime hues. Aromas of fragrant clover blossom, lemon citrus and green apple are layered with hints of nashi pear, dried fennel and newly mown hay. The focused palate shows zesty citrus and fresh stone-fruit characters with beautifully balanced fine acidity and texture for a long, crisp finish..

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2013 Louis Eden Valley Semillon

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The lead-up to the 2013 vintage saw an early onset of summer, with occasional thunderstorms and only four heat spikes, into the 40s, over summer. A cooler than average January followed by a warm February, brought the predicted early vintage even further forward. Even after the dry-fecta of winter/spring/summer the word from the winery floor was that it would be another great Eden Valley riesling year, followed up with some great old-vine shiraz. Fortunately, a desperately needed 16mm of rain came, the first for nearly six months, at the beginning of March to help the dry-grown vines struggle through to full maturity. The roller-coaster weather ride continued through March with almost weekly cycles of hot and cold. Cool drizzly weather at the end of March nearly brought the harvest to a halt, but with a return to the Indian summer conditions in early April, it gave us a chance to get the late varieties in Eden Valley over the line, predominantly cabernet sauvignon and merlot, returning us to another great vintage of average yields and fabulous rock solid quality.

In the Bottle

Vintage 2013
Grape Variety 100% semillon grown in Eden Valley.
Technical Details Harvest Date: 22 February-7 March | Alcohol: 11.5% | pH: 3.19 | Acidity: 6.3g/L
Maturation 17% aged for 6 months in seasoned 225L French barriques while the remaining 83% is aged in tank on lees.
Background A tribute to Louis Edmund Henschke (1919-1990), the fourth-generation grower of the Hill of Grace vineyard. His expertise as a vigneron has resulted in a legacy in the form of the famous vineyard being maintained using long-term organic principles. The semillon is a reserve selection from 50-year-old vines, grown in the Henschke vineyard at Eden Valley.
Cellaring Potential Excellent vintage, 15+ years (from vintage)

Vintage 2013. 1 July 2014, WBM

Youthful purity, tangy acidity and well-defined energy are backed by textural mouthfeel and great persistence built by one-sixth of the blend aged in old oak barrels.

Vintage 2013. 9 April 2014, Tony Love, Adelaide Advertiser

It’s rare to see youthful semillon with such fragrance, but that’s the Eden Valley impact to start. On top of cut apples and grassy herbs, Stephen Henschke calls it “clover blossom”, while the flavour spectrum introduces white stone fruits and further savoury and spicy layers, possibly springing from a portion of oak maturation. Importantly it is most lifted and joyous to sip over light dinners.

Vintage 2012. 23 September 2013, www.winemuse.com.au

From the Eden Valley. There is plenty of lemon citrus and stonefruit with a hint of savouriness. Texturely, there is some silk and acid is softer though still prominent. Henschke has been working on their winemaking and oak regime to get a better blend of phenolics to the palate. This is apparent in the way the wine shapes the mouth along its tangy length while remaining fresh.

Vintage 2009. 29 February 2012, Brisbane Times.

‘As a kid pottering around shearing sheds in the far north west in 1987, I had no idea Henschke was making a Semillon that would be an extraordinary drink 25 years later, but they did, and I shared a bottle of that wine recently. If the 2009 version simply doesn’t have the same complexity and thrall, it is simply because it needs a few more decades.’

 

Vintage 2009. 22 September 2010, Chris Shanahan, Canberra Times.

‘Like the Hunter style, it's tank fermented, never goes near oak and is bottled early to preserve the fruit flavour. However, it's slightly fuller than the Hunter style, with the distinct aroma and flavour of warm grown semillon somewhere between lemongrass and wet hessian. Don't be put off by the latter, though, as there's a zesty, tart, lemony tang, setting Louis apart from other wines. Would be terrific with delicate fish.’

 

Vintage 2008. 26 September 2011, Andrew Graham, Oz Wine Review.

‘Green, grassy, fresh style with simple lean melon fruit and just a whisper of oak/lees complexity. It's maturing rather well, putting on a little extra weight through the middle now which only adds to the attraction. A pleasant, simple white with a spoonful of style.

 

Vintage 2008. 3 March 2010, Fergus McGhie, Canberra Times.

‘The '08 Louis is delicious and should be on more wine lovers' shopping lists. Lean and citrus flavoured, there's guava and green jubey fruit too. The palate is long and crisp, so it's either a drink-now proposition or a potential cracker from the cellar in a few years time’.

Vintage 2008. 23 December 2009, Chris Plummer, Australian Wine Journal.

‘A little shy on the nose initially, the 2008 Louis opens to reveal a herbal presence of gooseberry and melon fruits with grilled nut overtones. Rather languid and rich yet fluid, its mineral infused palate announces clean and clear lemon citrus flavours, which evolve in a more savoury fashion with lingering notes of herb and a defining smoky aspect, before being punctuated beautifully by delightfully taut and regional, chalky acids.

 

Vintage 2007. October 2008, Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.

‘Light, bright gold. Varietally accurate aromas of dried orchard fruit, beeswax, nuts and white flowers. Dry and focused, offering deep lemon rind and dried pear flavors and a suave mineral undercurrent. Becomes sweeter and juicier on the finish, which leaves sappy pear nectar and toasted nut qualities behind. This will be really flexible at the table.’

 

Vintage 2006. 2009, James Halliday, James Halliday’s Wine Companion.

‘A very attractive mix of grass, lemon juice and spice; a long minerally finish; very good balance and line’.

 

Vintage 2006. 12 August 2007, Sun Herald.

‘This Eden Valley semillon has wonderful fruit purity: green apples backed with mineral notes that track through the palate. It is fresh and vibrant and will cellar for 10 years.’

 

Vintage 2006. 25 June 2007, Winewise.

‘The fruit is clean and pure, with lemony hints, and the flavour is generous, supported by good acidity. SA semillon doesn’t come much better than this.’

 

Vintage 2006. 24 June 2007, Peter Forrestal, Sunday Telegraph.

‘Exceptional wine with fresh, crisp and intense lemon flavours brought to a peak by talented Stephen Henschke. Viticulturalist wife Prue deserves credit as well.’

Vintage 2005. August 2007, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion

Abundant flavour and richness. Rating 88/100.

Vintage 2005. 31 October 2006, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

...thai lemon grass, herbal essences and oily, waxy characteristics are featured in this broad, concentrated white. This dry white may keep for many years...

Vintage 2005. 1 April 2006, Winewise

One of the best young South Australian semillons I've ever tasted. The aromas and flavours verge on tropical fruit but don't quite go that far. The result is satisfying flavour without heaviness. Likewise, there's an almost subliminal sweetness that is balanced perfectly by zippy acidity. Here's a delicious, versatile wine that is hard to resist, yet will probably reward a few years' cellaring.

Vintage 2005. 2 February 2006, Tony Harper, Courier Mail.

‘What a beautiful wine. ...it was a delight - grassy, fresh and seriously intense. It is a wine for the cellar, 10 years should be no problem, but it is delicious right now.’

 

Vintage 2004. 2006, Independent Magazine

‘In the hands of the Henschke family from the cool Eden Valley, this is a classy, fragrant number, full of gooseberryish fruitiness and subtly rounded out with a touch of oak, making for a restrained Graves-style whose citrus-zesty, bone dry liveliness cries out for grilled fish and white meats.’

 

Vintage 2004. 1 November 2005, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

‘The 2004 Louis reveals waxy citrus, candied lemon, and honey characteristics in a straightforward, elegant format. With aeration, a hint of figs also emerged.’

 

Vintage 2003. 1 August 2006, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2006

‘Flavoursome, soft and rounded, quite creamy, early developing style.’

 

Vintage 2003. 26 May 2006, Tim White, Australian Financial Review

‘Full in texture, clean in its wheat and lemon flavour, this wine hints at the complexity it should develop with age. It's soft as fresh cream...’